Farm workers' defence bids to discredit witness in boy's murder case

Coligny murder accused Pieter Doornward and Phillip Schutte.
Coligny murder accused Pieter Doornward and Phillip Schutte.
Image: Tiro Ramatlhatse

The defence team in a murder case against two farm workers accused of killing a Coligny teenager argued at the North West High Court on Monday that the accused never drove around with the victim and the sole key witness at the time of the incident.

Pieter Doornward and Phillip Schutte have been accused of throwing 16-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu out of a moving bakkie in April 20 2017 in Coligny after accusing him of stealing sunflower at the farm. They face charges of with murder, kidnapping, intimidation and pointing a firearm.

They have however pleaded not guilty to all charges, adding that the deceased voluntarily jumped off the bakkie while they were driving him to the police station. Their statements were a contradiction to that of the only key witness Bonakele Pakisi who had told the court that he witnessed Mosweu being thrown out of a moving vehicle by the accused.

Called to the stand on Monday, Vodacom cellphone data expect Lynette van Zyl explained on what she could trace from the four cellphones that the accused and Pakisi were using on that day. Van Zyl said the only way to detect the movement was when and only if the cellphone was on, noting that there was nothing detected from the two cellphones belonging to Pakisi as they were not on.

She however said the cellphone belonging to one of the accused showed the call was made to the accused and received in Coligny.The call was from a Coligny police officer telling Schutte the boy they had earlier reported jumping off the bakkie had died.

The defence was trying to prove that Dooreward and Schutte never went on a trip with the victim and that they never left Coligny, dismissing the evidence of Pakisi as false. Trial continues.

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